Medals and the Man

Monthly Feature

Medals and the Man

Jun 2022

Pte Mantle - Home Guard

This week featured medal is the Second World War Defence Medal awarded to to Pte TJ Mantle of the Withington Platoon of B Company of the 4 Battalion Herefordshire Home Guard.

The Defence Medal was awarded between between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 to members of the Armed Forces and civilians who were part of recognised units such as the Home Guard, Air Raid Precautions, Civil Defence, National Fire Service etc.

Qualification in the UK was for 3 years service in a non-operational area which was subject to, or closely threatened by enemy activity.

Many medals were awarded to members of the Home Guard as to Pte Mantle. For many this was their only medal entitlement, but many could add it to their First World War medals.

The Home Guard was formed in May 1940; Herefordshire had 6 Battalions and almost every village had a unit. On stand down in December 1944 the strength of the Home Guard in Herefordshire was 6,300

May 2022

Lt Gen Sir Edward Hopton

This months featured man is Lt Gen Sir Edward Hopton. His medals are held by the Museum on loan from the County Museum. The medals were loaned to the Museum in 1981 and during the recent re-ordering of the Museum displays were researched and it was discovered that 2 of his medals (the Turkish Crimea and 1897 Jubilee)  had never been handed over to the Regimental Museum. Herefordshire Museum were contacted and a search made and the Turkish Crimea was located and re-united with the others after a 'few' years apart!

His full medal entitlement is: Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB), neck badge and breast star, Crimea with bar Sebastopol, Indian Mutiny Medal with bar Central India and the South Africa Medal with bar 1877-8-9, The 1897 Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Turkish Crimea Medal; all but the Jubilee Medal are displayed in the Regimental Museum.

Lt Gen Sir Edward Hopton’s association with Herefordshire is that he lived at Canon Frome Court and in 1903 was appointed as the Honorary Colonel of the 4th Battalion of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry - this was the Herefordshire Militia Battalion.

He had had a full an interesting military career - born in 1837 and Commissioned into the Connaught Rangers in 1854. He served in the Crimea at the siege of Sebastopol and the assault on The Redan and was severely wounded. He then served in India during the Mutiny and was present at the siege of Lucknow and Culpoe. His next war was in South Africa with the Zulu War of 1897-9. His last appointment was as Lieutenant-Governor and commander of all troops Jersey and he retired from here in 1900.

Gen Hopton was a tall man and sported a full beard - in South Africa he adopted the habit of wearing soldiers uniform so that he did not stand out as an officer.

He died in January 1912.

Both his sons died in WW1. Captain Guy William Hopton Royal Berkshire Regiment died Belgium 27 July 1915 and Lieutenant Edward Michael Hopton Shropshire Yeomanry died in Alexandria 17 March 1916 - both are remembered with memorials in Stretton Grandison Church.

For more about the Hopton’s and Cannon Frome Court please see the monthly feature ‘The Camera Returns’.

See more about ‘The Hoptons’ in this months The camera Returns feature.

April 2022

4103028 Sergeant Edwin Victor CALE

This month's featured medal is the Efficiency Medal (Territorial) awarded to Sgt EV Cale. He qualified for the medal in February 1934 having enlisted in 1920 and was awarded the medal at Annual camp at Penally also in 1934 by Lord Somers.

He was mobilised in 1939 on the outbreak of the Second World War, but was deemed unfit for military service and was discharged in March 1940.

His medal entitlement was therefore the Second World War Medal and the Efficiency Medal (Territorial) for over 20 years service.